MUZAFFARABAD: PTI on Saturday announced its 34 out of 45 candidates for the upcoming general elections to the AJK Legislative Assembly, leaving the decisions on the remaining 11 seats on hold.

“Prime Minister and PTI Chairman Imran Khan has approved the names of candidates for the forthcoming elections to the AJK Assembly; announcement about some seats will be made later,” tweeted Minister for Information Ch Fawad Hussain along with an image of the candidates.

According to him, as many as 300 candidates had applied against the 45 direct seats, 12 of which are located in Pakistan and reserved in halves for the refugees from India occupied Kashmir Valley and Jammu regions.

Of the 11 seats, where decision was pending only one was located in Pakistan and the rest in the AJK territory.

Prominent among those who had been awarded tickets were party’s regional chief Barrister Sultan Mahmood, Sardar Tanveer Ilyas Khan, Khawaja Farooq Ahmed, Abdul Qayyum Niazi, Abdul Majid Khan and Deevan Ghulam Mohiuddin.

Nazia Niaz, a fresh female candidate, was also awarded party ticket from a refugees’ constituency in Pakistan.

The announcement of tickets came after the two members of the ruling PML-N and two members from the opposition benches joined the PTI at a ceremony in Banigala earlier in the day.

Those from the treasury benches were cabinet member Chaudhry Shahzad Mahmood and MLA Syed Ali Raza Bukhari, representing religious scholars in the assembly.

From the opposition benches, Sardar Saghir Chughtai of Muslim Conference (MC) and independent lawmaker Chaudhry Ali Shah Soni had joined the PTI.

Chaudhry Anwaar ul Haq, a former speaker as well as minister, was also among those who had joined PTI.Mr Mahmood, Mr Chughtai and Mr Haq were among the announced candidates for 2021 polls.

Published in Dawn, May 30th, 2021

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